The NES Classic Edition series of interviews has been ongoing, featuring classic Nintendo games and the developers behind them. The final interview has now been shared by Nintendo, and this time the spotlight is on the original Metroid.
Director Yoshio Sakamoto and character designer Hiroji Kiyotake sat down to discuss everything that went into creating Metroid, including their ultimate decision to make Samus Aran a woman and how shocked players were to discover Samus’s identity by the end of the game.
Here’s an excerpt from that specific part of the interview.
How did you decide to make Samus Aran a woman?
Sakamoto: Once we entered the final stage of development, we started talking about having different endings depending on how long it took players to clear the game. We wanted to prepare a reward for people who cleared it more quickly.
Kiyotake: We wondered what would surprise everyone and talked about removing Samus’s helmet.
Sakamoto: Then someone said, “It would be a shocker if Samus turned out to be a woman!” And everyone thought that would be interesting and wanted to do it, so we decided it right away.
Kiyotake: Yeah, we decided that in a flash. Back then, people played games over and over, so we wanted to give a reward for playing through quickly. Then we decided to put in four endings, with Samus removing her helmet or her suit and so forth.
As they played, everyone thought Samus was a tough, musclebound guy, but they learned in the end that Samus was a woman.
Sakamoto: People who played it back then were shocked. And even now people talk about it like a kind of legend. (laughs)
To read more from the lengthy and insightful interview with Kiyotake and Sakamoto, you can go here.